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Thursday, June 17, 2004
Confessions of an Ex-President

Former President Bill Clinton is finally coming clean about his scandalous affair with Monica Lewinsky, telling the world what everybody's been wondering for more than four years -- why did he do it?

"I think I did something for the worst possible reason: just because I could," says Clinton in an interview with Dan Rather, which will air Sunday on "60 Minutes." "But none of them are an excuse. Only a fool does not look to explain his mistakes."

Clinton also tells Rather that the affair almost ended his marriage and damaged his relationship with his daughter. Rather told "Extra" that the Clintons, "Sought outside help, counseling and therapy as a family and as individuals."

The interview kicks off Clinton's publicity tour for his 950-page memoir in which he surprisingly does not seek to settle scores, though according to Rather, "There is at least one notable exception: Ken Starr. (Clinton) really unloads on him."

Perhaps by coincidence, Clinton's arch-rival, special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, stars as the villain in a new documentary called "The Hunting of the President," written and directed by Clinton's longtime Hollywood friend, producer Harry Thomason.

"(Clinton) thought it was a terrific film and made a terrific point and was historically important," Thomason revealed to "Extra."

Uma Thurman and Glenn Close were among the stars who attended the film's New York premiere, Wednesday night, but it was "Whitewater" scandal figure Susan McDougal who drew the most attention. McDougal served two years in jail for her "Whitewater" crimes, after refusing to cooperate with Starr.

Clinton hailed McDougal as a hero, Wednesday, as they came face to face for the first time in nearly 20 years. "I hugged him and I said, ‘Thank you so much for saying what you said,'" McDougal told us. "When he talked about his book, he said, ‘The only time I could not write was when I started to write about what happened to you.' He said, ‘It took me hours to get over being so angry that I could sit and write about it.'"

After the screening, Clinton told reporters he's telling his life story now, with the help of his wife: "She read it over and over and over again, and my daughter did as well. They helped a lot. Thank you."

EXTRA BYTES
EXTRA CLINTON
Clinton's comeback
The incredibly shrinking Bill
Bill on '60 Minutes'
Clinton to CBS?
The political powerhouse
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